A Story of Fote and Rangia

Fote and Rangia:There was a certain king in Tripura. He was known for his benevolent personality. He had a beautiful daughter who loved to ride the elephant and always roamed in their big flower garden sitting on the back of the white elephant from her childhood. They became good friends. It was told by the people that the white elephant could understand the language of the human being. Especially, the princess could make her white elephant do all her works. The elephant also would love a company with the princess. He looked for the princess if she did not come out of her room.

   The princess grew up. Her parents began to talk about marriage. The king started searching for a prince for her daughter. Somehow the white elephant came to know about it. From then he remained upset and did not take food properly. The princess would get married and go far from him. The elephant could not bear the separation from the princess.
     One day in the evening time, as usual, the princess was enjoying the cool breeze sitting on her favourite white elephant's back in their flower garden which was a little distance from the palace. The white elephant took the princess away stealthily and went into the deep jungle.

      The king could rescue his daughter easily, but he wanted a brave and strong fighter bridegroom for his daughter. So, he invoked his people and announced, " I will get my daughter married to the man who can rescue my daughter from the big white elephant". Everyone wanted to marry the beautiful princess but did not have courage to fight with the big elephant alone. They thought fighting with the big elephant means to lose their life. The king asked, " who wants to rescue my daughter?". Everyone was silent. Then a fool man named Fote, 32 years old came forward and said, "Maharaj, if I am allowed to go with my younger brother Rangia, I can rescue your daughter". " Nice", the king said.

   The king told his people to put hands together for Fote. Everybody thought he might be a fool man that's why he agreed to fight with the big elephant to lose his life. And the villagers of Fote knew him as a fool man. They used to called him Butua which means fool man. Fote had no strength and any skill in fighting. But his younger brother Rangia was a strong man, many people knew that.  But the king did not hear about Rangia's strength. The villagers saw Rangia lifting a big bull. Rangia was not present in the meeting. He did not want to marry the princess. Rangia was a very handsome young man. His tall figure, handsome face and unlimited strength could make any girls crazy.

     Returning home, Fote told Rangia, " Our king ordered you and me to rescue the princess from the hand of the white elephant". Rangia knew his brother well but did not say anything. Actually, Rangia did not have any interest to marry the princess. So, he did not go to the meeting which was called by the king. He agreed to go ,because if they did not go to rescue the princess after agreeing to go, his brother would be amputated by the king.

   Next day, Rangia and Fote were ready to leave and the king came to see them off. It was summer day. The heat was scorching. There was a river named Gomati flowing from east to west of Tripura. According to the gourds of the king, the elephant eloped with the princess towards the east side opposite direction of the river. Rangia and Fote entered into the deep forest and after searching all day for the princess, they reached near a big cave which belonged to a Demon. They did not find any footprint of the elephant. The white elephant was very clever. He took away the princess walking through the water. So, the footprints were washed away by the water flowing. Rangia and Fote decided to take rest at night in the cave. Rangia prepared to cook food. Butua( another name of Fote) was singing and dancing inside the cave because he never had seen such a beautiful cave. He was unaware that the cave belonged to a dangerous Demon but Rangia knew all but did not tell his elder brother. Rangia needed some dry wood to set fire. Before going to fetch dry wood, he told Fote, " Brother, I am going to bring some dry wood in the jungle, don't come out of the cave until I came back. If any one asked you who is sleeping in my cave, then tell him from inside that I am Rangia".

    After sometime, a big demon came there asked standing outside, " who is sleeping in my cave?" Fote said, " I am Rangia.  Rangia is sleeping". Demon ran away hearing the name of Rangia because he was told by the Bhrahma( almighty) that only a man by the name of Rangia could kill him. Again Demon came and asked, " Who is sleeping in my cave?" " I am Rangia. Rangia is sleeping", Fate said. Demon ran away again.
Fote thought Demon ran away hearing the name of his younger brother but came again and again, if he hears the name of Fote, he would never come back. So, he was waiting..

     Again Demon came and asked the same question. This time Fote told Demon, " I am Fote. Fote is sleeping". Hearing the name of Fote, Demon entered into the cave and attacked Fote to eat him up. But hearing the sound of Rangia's coming, Demon ran away leaving Fote wounded and taking all weapons which were brought by Rangia.

    Next morning, they proceeded towards the east. Eventually, Rangia found the big footprints of the elephant filled with water. The footprints were so big that it looked like many ponds from distance. Feeling hot,  Butua took a bath in the footprint of the elephant thinking that it was a small pond. Rangia said to his Brother, " these which look like small ponds are the footprints of the elephant". Fote was shocked. He was shivering in fear and he did not want to go ahead. He told Rangia to go back. But Rangia was brave. He preferred death to run back. So, Rangia said to his brother, " climb up the tree and wait for me. Don't come down from the tree until I return". Rangia went alone to rescue the princess.

     Eventually, Rangia saw the elephant sleeping and the princess was sitting on his back. She was crying. Rangia walked slowly to them and whispered that he had come to rescue her.
   He picked up a stone which was the almost equal weight of the princess and placed on the elephant's back and came back stealthily carrying the princess on his shoulder. But when the elephant moves his body a little, the stone fell down and at once he woke up. The elephant ran after Rangia. Ultimately, he caught Rangia. What a fight it was between the elephant and Rangia! The land was shaking, it looked like a massive earthquake. The elephant lifted a tree and threw it to Rangia and Rangia also could lift the same tree and threw it towards the elephant. At last, Rangia killed the elephant with the help of the princess. She gave him Sangein( one kind of attire used for binding long hair). Rangia killed the big white elephant with Sangain and broke the two teeth of the elephant.

On the way, the princess asked Rangia, " Do you come alone to rescue me".

Rangia- I have come with my elder brother.

Princess- Where is your brother?

Rangia- He fell sick, so he could not able to come with me. He is waiting for us sitting on the branches of the tree.

Princess- I did not ever see a great fighter like you in my life. And you are strong too. Is your brother also a great fighter?

Rangia- Yes.

The princess was attracted by his handsomeness and bravery. Instantly,
 the princess fell in love with Rangia. When he was making a boat, the princess was staring only him. They reached the place where Fote was waiting, sitting on the tree. Rangia called his btother. Fote came down and asked, " Where is the white elephant? Did the elephant let the princess go?"

At once the princess could understand that Fote was a fool man. They reached the cave and decided to sleep there again. Rangia had to go outside to fetch water. The demon came and asked, " Who is sleeping inside my cave?" Fote said, " I am Rangia. Rangia was sleeping". But the Demon could recognise the voice of the Fote. So, Demon entered into the cave and kidnapped the princess. Fote became unconscious with one slap by Demon. Rangia came back.
They ran after Demon. There was another big cave where Demon entered with the princess.
Rangia said to his brother, " I will go alone, you wait outside". Rangia killed Demon and rescued the princess alive. The princess fell in love with Rangia deeply. They came out of the cave.
    The princess said, " I left behind my Saigein, I will not go home without it". She requested Rangia to bring it from the cave. It was so important because Rangia had killed the elephant with it. So she wanted to keep it safe. Rangia entered into the cave again to bring her Sangein. Fote got a chance to make the princess his wife. So, he closed the door of the cave with a big rock. He forced the princess to go home.

Fote said to the princess, " Your father had announced  before everyone that if any one could bring his daughter back from the jungle, he will get his daughter married to him".
 He said, " I was the one who agreed to rescue you in the presence of many people. I know you love Rangia but he can not come back. He will die soon. Have you seen how I closed the door of the cave. Rangia can not able to come out.  If you tell others that I did not rescue you, no one will believe you".

   Fote and the princess reached the palace. The king was very happy. He announced that Fote would be the bridegroom of the princess and  would be our next king. The preparation of the marriage was in full swing.
 On the other hand, the princess was crying losing her beloved Rangia. She could not understand what to do. How could she marry the person who killed her beloved and betrayed his own younger brother.
   Finally, marriage date had come and all the rituals were being performed one by one. Suddenly, Rangia with shaggy cloth appeared there holding two teeth of the elephant in his two hands. At once the princess stood up, she came down and hugged Rangia. All the people present in the marriage party got surprised. The princess narrated the truth. The king ordered his soldiers to kill Fote right now but Rangia begged for his brother's life. The king spared his life. The princess got married to Rangia happily. They took blessing from all.

       Fote was ashamed and committed suicide at home.

       The end
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